Badger GP Formula 1 isn't boring. 2018-06-22T11:21:49Z https://badgergp.com/feed/atom/ Badger GP https://badgergp-x9ecz75q73bk.netdna-ssl.com/images/2016/01/cropped-badger-b-retina-32x32.jpg Adam Le Feuvre <![CDATA[Win F1 Vision for the British Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975398 2018-06-22T11:21:49Z 2018-06-22T11:09:47Z Heading to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix this year? Lucky you! And thanks to Badger GP, your trip could be even better with an F1 Vision device for the weekend.

If you haven’t come across F1 Vision yet, it’s a brilliant service, where you get a special device (similar size to a smart phone) that enables you to get all the commentary, live timing and race coverage that you’re used to at home, but at the race track.

Being trackside is by far the best way to enjoy an F1 Grand Prix, but it’s true to say that for the atmosphere, noise and smell you trade off knowing all that’s going on in the race as whole. Yes you can try and get live timing on your phone, but with patchy signal and hundreds of thousands of others trying the same it’s not ideal. F1 Vision makes this all better – dedicated signal, a fancy device and all the information you need to enjoy the race fully. See our full review of the F1 Vision device from the Spanish GP earlier this year.

Side note – if you’re not going to Silverstone, join GP Screenings to watch the race live on a cinema screen with Sunday lunch included!

The regular price for a device is somewhere in the region of £100 for a GP weekend via F1’s official store, with discounts if you buy in advance. The cheapest way to get a device is via Discover Grand Prix – they have the best price for F1 Vision anywhere.

Win F1 Vision for the British GP!

Even better news is that we have 2 devices to be won for the 2018 British Grand Prix, and you can enter by any (or all) of the methods below.

Twitter – Simply share this article on Twitter and tag @BadgerGP and @DiscoverGP, make sure you’re following us and Discover GP too! 

Facebook – Simply like Badger GP and Discover Grand Prix on Facebook, then like this post and tag an F1 fan friend in a comment here: Win F1 Vision for the British Grand Prix

Entry Form – not on social? No problem, simply complete the form below to be entered into the draw.

  • Enter your email address (confirm it is correct so we can contact you if you win!)

T’s, C’s and Notes – This competition is to win an F1 Vision device for the British Grand Prix. 2 winners will be chosen at random from the entries. The winners will receive a voucher to go and claim their device from the F1 Vision stand at the race track. No cash alternative, vouchers cannot be resold, they are named to the individuals. Entries need to be in by midnight BST Thursday 28th June. Winners will be contacted on Friday 29th June. Our decision is final. In order to obtain and use the device you will need tickets for the British GP weekend, these are not included. Get tickets from the Silverstone website.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Video – Ricciardo and Horner Preview the French Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975395 2018-06-22T11:17:31Z 2018-06-21T19:32:04Z

A true classic will return to the F1 calendar in 2018, as the French Grand Prix relocates to Paul Ricard, a decade on from the country’s last race at Magny-Cours.

Ahead of the comeback, Mobil 1 The Grid asked Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner and current driver Daniel Ricciardo to outline the key challenges posed by the event, which kicks off the first-ever triple-header sequence in F1 history.

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Adam Le Feuvre <![CDATA[Cheapest F1 Vision for your next Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975390 2018-06-21T09:20:19Z 2018-06-21T09:20:19Z We’re fans of the F1 Vision concept, it makes being at a Grand Prix even better, you get to be there, get the atmosphere and also get the usual commentary and full coverage you’re used to from watching at home. 

Back when it was called Fan Vision it was great, but the new revamped F1 Vision is even better. You can read our first impressions of F1 Vision from the Spanish GP here.

Now the only catch is that the service isn’t cheap. You’ve already spent out on travel and tickets for the Grand Prix, probably accommodation too, to then spend another $100 or so can be a bit hard to swallow.

The good news is that if you know you want one, believe us, you do then there’s a cheaper way to get your device. Enter Discover Grand Prix – they offer tickets and hospitality for F1 fans and have been doing so for many years. We’re good friends with them and they are now offering the F1 Vision service too, at the best price we’ve seen anywhere.

Put simply, it’s going to be roughly £100 for a device via the F1 website, but Discover Grand Prix offer the exact same service for £75. That’s a whopping 25% cheaper than anywhere else. 

We know where we’re going for our devices! Check out F1 Vision on Discover Grand Prix here.

 

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Badger GP Staff <![CDATA[New Trailer for the F1 2018 Game]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975385 2018-06-21T09:04:39Z 2018-06-21T08:59:40Z Whoop! New teaser trailer time for the 2018 F1 game. Codemasters are revealing more details of the game over the French GP weekend, starting with this video featuring the current crop of Frenchies, and Carlos Sainz – their views on the return to Paul Ricard and the experience of the new game.

Not surprisingly the drivers only had positive things to say about their home GP:

“Of course the French Grand Prix is the one I am most looking forward to in the year,” said Haas F1 Team driver, Grosjean. “It will be my first time racing in my home Grand Prix and a lot of French fans are coming to support us.”

Gasly added: “I am massively excited. To have a home Grand Prix is a special feeling. You can really feel the support.”

The new F1 2018 game will be out on Friday 24th August 2018 on the usual XBOX One, PS4 and Windows PC formats. Here’s what the drivers had to say after their first go with the new game.

“I have been playing games since I was a kid… and I haven’t stopped,” said Ocon. “The games have evolved massively and are getting more and more realistic. It is still my routine to go training during the day and I play for one or two hours in the evening… and I find it very useful. When we don’t have a race weekend I keep racing on my own.”

“This is my first try on F1 2018 and I am super impressed. I am a big fan of the games and have played them since I was a kid”, added Gasly. “Every year it keeps getting better.”

Sainz commented: “I spend my time at home practising in the Formula 1 game and on the simulator at Renault. You can be sure that we do this kind of practice.”

Get more on the new game via Codemasters F1 games blogand social channels on Twitter and Facebook for future updates. View on YouTube here: Formula 1 Game Channel

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[McLaren offers Daniel Ricciardo $20m for 2019 – Report]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975374 2018-06-21T08:59:48Z 2018-06-21T06:34:05Z Daniel Ricciardo’s ongoing contract saga has taken a new twist, as German media outlet Sports Bild is reporting that McLaren is looking to gazump leading contenders Mercedes and Ferrari to the Australian’s signature for 2019.

The team is looking to offer Ricciardo a $20m-a-year deal that would more than triple his current salary and keep a big name in F1 with the McLaren brand.

Daniel Ricciardo’s 2018 form has made him the hottest free agent in F1 | Image: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

The news comes just days after Red Bull announced they were ending their long partnership with engine supplier Renault to begin a two-year deal with Honda from 2019.

Red Bull power broker Helmut Marko knows the 28-year-old, who is off-contract at the end of the season, is in high demand. “Our Daniel Ricciardo is the king of the market,” Marko said. “McLaren offers him more every week.”

After Fernando Alonso’s victory in Le Mans last weekend, the Spaniard could be tempted to move to America with McLaren’s reported IndyCar programme and aim to complete the Triple Crown of motorsport by winning the Indianapolis 500. With only Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel with guaranteed contracts for 2019, Daniel Riccardo holds all the keys to unlocking the driver market and could be tempted to become McLaren’s leading star.

Will Alonso potentially walking away from F1 open a door for Ricciardo? | Photo: Steven Tee/McLaren

However, Marko believes that the Australian is more likely to switch to one of the higher-profile seats of Ferrari or Mercedes if he were to depart Red Bull. In fact, Marko has alluded to World Champion Lewis Hamilton holding all the aces in the market, and that Ricciardo is waiting for the Brit’s decision first.

“Above all, some people in Mercedes would absolutely want Ricciardo to join them in the team, but he doesn’t want to sign until Hamilton has signed,” Marko said. “It’s a bit strange. Hopefully, it ends soon.”

While a mega-bucks contract from McLaren would place Ricciardo amongst the elite in terms of salary in F1, he would still be behind four-time champions Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton, who are reportedly earning in the region of $60m and $50m from Ferrari and Mercedes respectively.

Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen singed a new long-term deal with the team that raised his salary to $10m a season, over three years. Riccardo currently earns $6m per year.

According to former driver and Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle, Ricciardo finds himself in an “odd position” in negotiations regarding his future.

“Lewis will stay at Mercedes. They’re just arguing over whether he has the M&Ms without the green ones in them or something like that, the detail at the end of it,” Brundle said.

“Daniel finds himself in a very odd position. He is going so well but Vettel kind of owns the driving seats at Ferrari, Hamilton at Mercedes and, it seems, Verstappen at Red Bull. So despite his form, he’s finding himself without a clear path.”

Verstappen and Ricciardo
Is re-signing with Red Bull now the least likely option? | Image: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

Ricciardo sits fourth in the title race leading into the French Grand Prix this weekend. The race is expected to be an unpredictable affair, with France having been off the F1 calendar for 10 years.

Read more – Five reasons to watch the 2018 French Grand Prix

Ricciardo was leapfrogged in the overall standings by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after finishing fourth in the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, compared to the Finn’s second place, despite winning two races in China and Monaco respectively.

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Nicky Haldenby https://badgergp.com <![CDATA[Five reasons to watch the 2018 French Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975350 2018-06-20T21:06:08Z 2018-06-20T21:06:08Z It’s a welcome return to the French Grand Prix as the first of three consecutive race weekends takes place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday. Here are your reasons to watch all of the action this weekend!

Formula One’s return to France

Formula One returns to France for the first time since 2008 and to the Paul Ricard track for the first time since 1990. Plenty has changed since then, and only four of the drivers on this year’s grid competed in the last French Grand Prix, which was held at Magny Cours a decade ago. Kimi Raikkonen finished runner-up to his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in that race, Fernando Alonso picked up a solitary point for Renault in eighth, Lewis Hamilton finished a lowly tenth in his first championship-winning year, while Sebastian Vettel came home in twelfth for Toro Rosso.

Read more – Since Last Time at Paul Ricard

The past three races have been increasingly sub-par, so there is a certain amount of pressure on the French Grand Prix to deliver. Worryingly, some of the drivers aren’t impressed by what the revamped circuit has to offer.

After testing with Mercedes here in 2017, Lewis Hamilton commented that he thought the return of the French Grand Prix is taking place at the “wrong track”, adding that “it’s not as great as Magny-Cours”. So will the 87th running of the French Grand Prix deliver the showstopper we’re all craving?

Three drivers in their first home event

Three drivers will experience their first home race this weekend. Romain Grosjean, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly will all line-up on the grid on their local territory for the first time on Sunday. Grosjean missed out on racing at Magny Cours in F1, as it was taken off the calendar for 2009. In his only French GP2 weekend in 2008, Grosjean retired from both the Feature Race and the Sprint Race. He’ll be hoping for better luck this weekend, and he needs it too, having not scored any points so far this season.

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Perhaps surprisingly, of the three French drivers, it is Pierre Gasly who has taken the most championship points so far in 2018.

French drivers have done well here in the past – Alain Prost has three poles and four wins, the most of any driver. Jacques Laffite and Rene Arnoux also each took a pole here, while Arnoux’s 1982 win, when added to Prost’s four wins, means that French drivers have taken over a third of the victories in races held at this track.

Renault will also contest in their first home race since 2008. The team have won the French Grand Prix on five occasions, including wins at the Paul Ricard track in 1982 and 1983. Their divorce from Red Bull is likely to be the main talking point surrounding their weekend, as Red Bull has announced a new two-year partnership with Honda from next season.

Both Christian Horner and Cyril Abiteboul will appear in Friday’s Press Conference, along with McLaren’s Eric Boullier, so there may be some interesting chatter there…

A return to normality for Fernando?

Following his victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend, it’s a return to normality for Fernando Alonso this weekend as he gets back behind the wheel of an F1 car.

Embed from Getty Images

Undoubtedly, there’ll be plenty of questions to the Spaniard about his victory and its effect on his future in Formula One. Alonso has already hinted he may be switching to a full-time IndyCar role next year, so his approach to the topic when asked this weekend could be very insightful.

Whatever the conversation is off-track, Alonso is unlikely to enjoy two victories on French soil in two weekends.

Which way will the title battle swing?

It was advantage Ferrari last time out in Canada, while Mercedes struggled. This track is expected to suit Mercedes’ package though. It’ll be the first time the team have ever competed at this track and they’ll be bringing their delayed, upgraded engine with them.

Valtteri Bottas has been cautious in the run-up to the race, saying that his team “are definitely not the favourites”, though new engines in both cars will certainly help their cause.

Just one point separates Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel at the top of the standings, while Mercedes lead the way in the Constructors’ Championship by seventeen points. Will Mercedes’ new engines give them enough of a boost in performance to maintain their lead over Ferrari and for Hamilton to re-take the lead in the Drivers’ Championship?

The start of a triple-header

‘Momentum’ is a word which is mentioned a lot in F1, and it’s such momentum which could make or break a driver’s or team’s year over the next 21 days. For the first time in Formula One history, we have three rounds of the championship over the next three consecutive weekends. With a maximum of 75 points on offer to the drivers and a maximum of 129 points on offer to the teams, the face of the two championships could change dramatically in the coming weeks.

Compromises will have to be made due to the tight travel schedule – the teams won’t be taking their usual European motorhomes to the next round in Austria due to time constraints – and the number of hours worked by those in the teams will be unprecedented.

This batch of triple headers could have a knock-on effect on future years’ calendar sizes if the three-week schedule is attainable. Will everyone be able to cope with the high levels of performance expected for all three weekends?

The 2018 French Grand Prix gets underway at 3:10pm BST on Sunday. In the UK, coverage is exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.

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Sarah Merritt <![CDATA[Otmar Szafnauer: “Without fans of the sport, there is no sport”]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975338 2018-06-20T20:05:10Z 2018-06-20T20:05:10Z Last week a Sahara Force India F1 car appeared in Covent Garden, London. We’re always keen to find out what’s going on in and around Formula 1 and were curious to learn that the car was there, outside of London Transport Museum for an event with the team and their Interaction Design Agency, Orange Bus.

Orange Bus are working with Force India to improve how the team engage with fans and the numbers are looking good with an increase of 65% already from the first year of their partnership. Pretty impressive statistics, I’m sure you’ll agree. But what does it all mean?

Badger was given access to catch up for a chat with the Force India COO, Otmar Szafnauer, and took the opportunity to chat about his career, how he caught the motorsport bug, his role with Force India and the teams effort with engaging fans.

Getting into motorsport

So what drove Otmar towards Motorsport as a child? He smiles and speaks enthusiastically.

“From an early age, where I grew up in a small village, I don’t why, but the local school bought a couple of go-karts and I was fascinated by them. I was able to drive one of them after school, and it was not much as it was on dirt, but I was absolutely fascinated. Then when we moved to the States, one of are my neighbours, his father was a drag racer and he had a pro stock car, for a professional team sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Occasionally, they’d bring the cars home and I must’ve been 10 or 11 years old at the time, and this was great. I always liked cars, but then I was hooked on racing.”

Otmar the racing driver

After studying engineering at University, Otmar went on to work at Ford, and drove in Formula 2000 in America for about five years, participating in 55 races, first regionally, then nationally, and then professionally. Did he ever think about carrying on that career?

“Well, I was a bit naive. I started way too late and when I drove regionally and nationally, I was quick, but then when we got to the professional level racing, I was in my late twenties, but racing 17 year olds coming over from England wanting it to be their career. They were much quicker, and I couldn’t afford to keep up with the technology. They were buying new cars every year, and I couldn’t so, before you know it I had spent a lot of money and couldn’t take the next step. Out of my 55 races, I won five, even against some of the youngsters.”

Photo Credit: Autosport

Otmar in Formula 1

Following through Otmar’s career, he moved to BAR in 1998, and then almost went to Jaguar in 2001, before the move fell through. He joined Honda in 2001, where he remained until their decision to leave the sport at the end of 2008. Having worked with a plethora of drivers over that period, I ask Otmar if there are one or two that particularly stood out in his memories.

“Ricardo Zonta, remember him? He went home to Brazil once when his cat was ill, and I thought there’s a caring chap! Takuma Sato. We were in France, which we raced at Magny-Cours. It was the first lap and I was watching the race from somewhere after turn four or five. There’s a straight, with a right hander at the end  and I was watching the cars in line with the straight. By this time, everybody was in single file going into that turn and everybody was nose to tail. It was nose to gearbox, nose to gearbox, nose to gearbox. I’m watching this, and one guy poked out and try to overtake. Takuma – it was him. That is Takuma Sato. It was always maximum attack. If there’s an overtaking manoeuvre, he was doing it. That sums him up. I wish I had a picture of that!”

Embed from Getty Images

“And then who else? Adrian Sutil, very quick driver. Paul Di Resta, very quick to learn. Nico Hulkenberg, fabulous driver. And the two that we have now? Esteban Ocon, from the minute he got in our car, you could tell he was talented. He’s got a lot of talent. And Checo. The thing that I really like about Checo is he’s very tenacious. On Sunday, he is a smart racer and I thought Hulkenberg was going to destroy him, but no, Checo does what it takes to either beat his teammate, or get on the podium. He’s just got that knack and I like that about him. On a Sunday, you want Checo.”

Embed from Getty Images

The F1 Timing app

One thing that not many people may be aware of is that Otmar had the initial idea and founded the software company that released the official F1 Timing Application, Soft Pauer. This fascinates me, as watching the race alongside the timing app transformed the way I watched races, and I share with Otmar that at our GP Screenings race viewings, we have the app running side the race on giant screens so that the two can be viewed simultaneously. This he likes.

“You gain more from that sometimes than the TV. If the screen is showing you the driver that you’re not really interested in, you’ve got to look at the app to see what he’s doing. Is he setting green sectors? What’s his lap time like? What’s the gap to the car in front. You get all that here, you get none of that there. You won’t spot it through the TV.”

He then shares with me a story to demonstrate.

“Two or three years into the app, I didn’t go to China for the race – I’ve got a family too, and if I go to every race, I miss all the holidays with family except for in the winter. So I take China off and then we usually do a spring holiday somewhere, and we went to Cornwall. I wanted to watch the race and it was on early in the morning, so I tried to find a pub that would show it. I found a hotel and they said we’ll show the race tomorrow, but when I got there, somebody else already had commandeered the TV. They said, sorry you’re too late. So now I’m frantically try to find a pub with the race on!”

“I walked into this pub and I could hear the race, and this was at a time where the engines were loud, but on TV they were showing something else, so I thought where is that sound coming from? It was the formation lap so I was frantically looking, and I found these guys streaming the race on a laptop in the middle of the pub. I was with my son and I said, “Excuse me, do you mind if I watch this race with you?” They said, “No, no, no.” And they made way, we joined them, and I started chatting with them. One had worked at the McLaren, and I said, “Do you guys have the F1 Timing app?” They said, “No, what’s that?” And I pulled out my iPhone – it was the original iPhone, the curved back one and I was running the app and put it next to the computer screen. And I said, “Watch this, it’s got all the timing data on it.” Here they are, die-hard fans, and they didn’t know about the app. Zero.“

“That was three years into it, and once I showed them, they were amazed. They said, you can get all this, especially the guy that worked at McLaren. You can get all this? I said “Yeah, download the app, and the more you use it, the more you can’t watch without it.” That’s what I think anyway.”

I would have to agree with Otmar there. I wouldn’t want to watch the race without it, because I would feel like it was impairing my experience. I want to know more, so I thank Otmar for bringing this to the table for us, and we move on to talking about how he joined Force India at around the same time.

Otmar joins Force India

“Honda left Formula One and I was a Honda employee, so I left with them and then I needed to find a job. My first thought was the app, and I always had it in the back of my mind and I thought, well now I’ve got the time to develop it. A friend of ours owned a small software company and he was a coder as well, and I told him what I wanted to do. He said “I can do that for you”, so we worked on that together. At the same time, McLaren and Force India had a technical collaboration where we got gearboxes and the rear impact structure from them, the engine from Mercedes, and we used the McLaren simulator in collaboration with. Part of that collaboration was a secondee from McLaren to Force India. That was a one year secondment, and the secondee wanted to go back to McLaren, so they were stuck with nobody running the place. Martin Whitmarsh called Vijay and said if you’re stuck, I know this guy Otmar who needs a job, he’s left Honda, so you should interview him. So I went and interviewed with Vijay and got the job! I’ve got a lot of time for Martin. He helped me get the job at Force India, and he’s a nice straight guy, which I like.”

Embed from Getty Images

Is 4th on the cards in 2018?

Looking at the results the team have achieved in the constructors championship since Otmar joined, it’s an upward trajectory (7th, 6th, 6th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 4th), a remarkable achievement from a team that are recognised as being good value with a limited budget, or “bang for buck” as many say.

Does he think they can maintain this, and what does he attribute their success to?

“Third is hard. Staying fourth is going to be hard this year, but I think we can do it. I think it’s luck. We do some things right, but most importantly, I think the thing we do best is carefully hire the right people that can work together well. In a summary, that’s it. It’s all about the people and how you work together. I think that’s what we do. We’re a close knit team, we’re more of a racing family. We’re a bunch of racers. There’s no politics, we all pull together and help each other, and lo and behold, the results come. We do some other things right too, like we hire good drivers, for example, you need that. You can have all that other stuff and the driver’s not up to it and you’re not doing as well, so that’s key.”

Fan Engagement and Orange Bus

Over the years that he has been in motorsport, Otmar must have seen some real changes in the way teams engage with the fan base, with social media now being so prevalent, and being one of the smaller teams in workforce means that it’s a real effort to try and keep up with the bigger budget teams, but Sahara Force India do their best. How important does Otmar think this is and how is the collaboration with Orange Bus helping them address this?

“I think ultimately, without fans of the sport, there is no sport. Even if there is a sport, it will not be the same as what we do. Fans support what we do, so we’ve got to be cognizant of what the fans want. They’re our customer. So to me fan engagement is a conduit to the fans. You can get to them easier, but ultimately what you really, really should be doing is understanding what they like, what they don’t like, what they want and then try our best to deliver that. That to me is what it’s about. We should get better feedback from our fans, we should be able to reach out to them and ask them questions easier. We should start getting to know who they are a little bit more and Formula One itself is doing that too, asking the questions, what do you want? What do you like? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? Once you have that information, then you do your best to deliver. And Orange Bus will help us on our level, whilst Formula 1 are doing that as well.”

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Hayley Turner <![CDATA[Can you keep it up for 24 hours like Fernando Alonso?]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975345 2018-06-20T10:16:31Z 2018-06-20T10:06:18Z Finally Fernando Alonso has returned to the top step of the podium with, wait for it, a Japanese manufacturer. The irony continued at the 86th edition of what some say is the most gruelling race on the motorsport calendar, as 24 past and present F1 drivers (nine of which were teammates) stepped up to the challenge that was the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Only the brave willing to have their stamina tested to the absolute limit take on the 38 corners that make up the 8.5-mile track while their car’s fate remains in the hands of the racing gods. And yet, arguably the world’s greatest endurance race attracted F1 drivers prepared to take on the toughest challenge.

We’re not all destined to fulfil one of 60 cars on the track during the night stint, but do you have the grit to take on a Badger GP mental challenge?

We dare you to name all 24 current and ex-F1 drivers who entered into this year’s race. Since Alonso made his Le Mans debut starting on pole position, you have the winning lap time of 3 minutes 15 seconds in which to complete the test.

Only scroll down for the answers if you’re courageous and prepared not to cheat and don’t forget to share your (un)impressive scores with us…

Ganador Fernando Alonso (ESP, Sebastian Buemi (SUI) y Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Toyota Hybrid, 24 Horas de Le Mans. Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, Francia. Domingo 17 de Junio de 2018. Image via FernandoAlonso.com RUBIO

The Answers

André Lotterer

Without a doubt Lotterer is better know for the time he spent racing in endurance, but did you know he competed once in F1 at the Belgium GP with Caterham back in 2014?

Antonio Giovonazzi

Giovonazzi’s time in F1 has been short and sweet, competing in just two races for Sauber in 2017 at the Australian and Chinese Grand Prix.

Bruno Senna

The renowned family name we all know and love returned to F1 between 2010 and 2012, scoring a total of 33-championship points across 46 race starts.

Felipe Nasr

Nasr drove the #12 Sauber for at the start of the 2015 season. In Australia he crossed the line in fifth position – the highest position finish by a Brazilian driver in their debut Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso

If you didn’t get the Double F1 World Champion right, where have you been? 

Gianmaria Bruni

The Italian Ferrari factory driver raced in the 2004 season for Minardi before racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and FIA GT Championship.

Giedo van der Garde

The Dutchman is another former Caterham F1 driver with 19 race starts in 2013. He then joined Sauber in 2014 as a reserve driver.

Gincarlo Fisichella

Fisichella raced for five F1 teams between 1996-2009 racking up three wins, 19 podiums and 275 championship points before becoming a double 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner.

Jan Lammers

Lammers made his F1 debut in 1979 driving for Shadow. In 1980 he started the season driving for ATS, but moved to Ensign before returning to ATS for four races a year later. Ten years after his last F1 race for Theordore he returned to drive the two remaining races of the 1992 season.

Jan Magnussen

The Danish driver stepped into the F1 world with McLaren for one race in 1995 filling in for Mika Häkkinen, who was unwell. After a year out he returned to the sport for two seasons with Stewart.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Before competing in the FIA Formula E Championship, Jean-Eric Vergne drove for Toro Rosso from 2012-14. He later joined Ferrari as a test and development driver.

Jenson Button

British favourite, JB was the second F1 World Champion racing at year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Juan Pablo Montoya

With seven F1 wins and 30 podiums driving for Williams and McLaren, did you know Montoya was ranked 30th on Times Online’s Top 50 Formula One drivers of all time?

Kamui Kobayashi

Kobayashi drove for Toyota and Sauber between 2009-12. He stood on the podium at his home Grand Prix in 2012 before taking a year out to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He returned to F1 with Caterham in 2014.

Kazuki Nakajima

Between 2007-9 Nakajima raced for Williams. At his very first pit stop Nakajima overshot his box and hit two of his mechanics.

Olivier Beretta

Beretta participated in 10 races in the 1994 season for the Larrousse team, but scored zero championship points and was later replaced after his sponsorship money ran out. Between 2003-4 he tested for the Williams.

Pastor Maldonando

The Venezuelan driver ranked up 95 F1 starts with Williams and Lotus however, his erratic driving style made him very unpopular with the other drivers.

Paul di Resta

Di Resta was a test driver for McLaren before racing with Force India for three consecutive seasons. After a two-year absence from the sport he returned in 2016 as Williams’ reserve driver.

Pedro Lamy

Lamy was the first Portuguese driver to score a world championship point at the 1996 Austalian GP with Minardi. Previously he drove for Lotus before breaking his legs and wrists at a private test at Silverstone.

Sebastien Bourdais

Bourdais had his first F1 test with the Arrows team in 2002 and joined Toro Rosso as Sebastian Vettel’s teammate between 2008-9.

Sebastien Buemi

The FIA Formula E Champion was Red Bull Racing’s test and reserve driver. He raced for three consecutive seasons with Toro Rosso between 2009-11 before rejoining Red Bull as test and reserve driver once again in 2012.

Stephane Sarrazin

Sarrazin’s one and only F1 race came at the 1999 Brazilian GP for Minardi, but he continued to stay in F1 carrying out test duties for Prost (1999-01) and Toyota in 2002.

Vitaly Petrov

The Russian scored 64 championship points during his time in F1 for Caterham (2012) and Renault in 2010 and 2011.

Will Stevens

Stevens made 18 F1 starts with Caterham and Marussia between 2014-15, but failed to score any championship points.

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Nicky Haldenby https://badgergp.com <![CDATA[Since Last Time at Paul Ricard]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975326 2018-06-19T08:04:22Z 2018-06-19T08:03:17Z If you’d fallen into a deep sleep after the end of the 1990 French Grand Prix and just woken up now, you’d be waking to find a very different world since Formula One’s last visit to the Paul Ricard track.

Nicky Haldenby investigates just some of the things which have changed in the world since F1 last visited the circuit.

The last time Formula One visited the Paul Ricard track was the 8th July 1990. When the lights go out on Sunday, that’ll be 27 years, 11 months and 16 days ago. On that day, Elton John’s ‘Sacrifice’ was number one in the U.K. chart, Die Hard 2 was number one at the U.S box office and West Germany won the 1990 World Cup in Rome just a few hours after Alain Prost crossed the line at his home Grand Prix to take the 42nd victory of his F1 career. Funnily enough, the 2018 running of the race will begin an hour later than the other European races this season in order to avoid a clash with the England v Panama game in the 2018 World Cup.

Yes, that’s right, West Germany won the 1990 World Cup. The Berlin Wall had fallen some seven months prior to the 1990 French Grand Prix, but the official reunification of Germany didn’t take place until 3rd October that year.

Talking of politics, Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, while George H. W. Bush was the U.S. President – a Conservative and Republican government, just as their counterparts Theresa May and Donald Trump are today.

A week prior to the 1990 French Grand Prix, a young 21-year-old German named Michael Schumacher had taken the runner-up spot in a German Formula Three race at the Norisring circuit in Nuremberg, West Germany. He went on to win that championship before making his Formula One début for Jordan at the following year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, at the top tier of motorsport, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell were the big names. Prost and Senna were the big rivals, with the pair having infamously collided at the final chicane of the Suzuka circuit, deciding the championship in Prost’s favour just nine months prior to the 1990 French Grand Prix.

At the time Senna had only won the title once in his career, but heading into the race at Paul Ricard was leading the championship by eight points. The Brazilian would go on to win the 1990 Drivers’ Title, again in controversial circumstances at the Suzuka circuit three months later. Nigel Mansell was still without a title to his name at the time of the 1990 French Grand Prix – he’d have another two seasons to wait before he finally got his hands on one.

Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost were driving for Ferrari at the 1990 French Grand Prix. In an interesting coincidence, they ended their careers with the same number of titles as current Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have at the moment: Vettel equal to Prost with four, Raikkonen equal to Mansell’s sole title. Vettel could equal Prost’s total number of race victories this weekend.

In Formula One’s political landscape, Jean-Marie Balestre was still the President of the FIA and was also the president of FISA, which was still in existence. FISA was the ‘Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile’, the governing body of motor racing events, which existed until a restructuring of the FIA in 1993.

When looking back at the advancement of Safety in F1, the 1990 French Grand Prix shows how far the sport has come in thirty years. At the time of the last race at the Paul Ricard track, the Safety Car hadn’t properly been introduced to the sport, there was no pit-lane speed limit and the HANS device didn’t exist. In terms of the regulations, pre-qualifying was still a part of the rules, with nineteen teams partaking in the 1990 World Championship. Robert Moreno finished tenth in the championship in 1990 despite failing to qualify for eleven of the sixteen races and also being disqualified from one.

Last time Formula One visited the Paul Ricard track, the man who gave it the name was still alive. Paul Ricard was the creator of an eponymous alcohol brand and went on to build the Paul Ricard track in 1970 as a marketing tool. The industrialist died in 1997, seven years after the last F1 event at his track. After a spell of only motorcycle and national racing, the circuit was bought by Bernie Ecclestone in 2000 and renamed as the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track. It remained as a testing-only circuit until 2009.

Other than the Paul Ricard track, ten circuits featured on the 1990 calendar which are still present today: Interlagos, Monaco, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Silverstone, Hockenheimring, Hungaroring, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Suzuka. Interlagos, Monaco, Silverstone, the Hungaroring and Monza are the only tracks which have been ever-present on the F1 calendar since F1’s last visit to Paul Ricard.

The Phoenix track hosted its final Grand Prix as the opening round of the season in 1991, while Adelaide would remain as the season closer for another five years yet and Imola would see its share of tragedy and elation for a further sixteen years.

Since the 1990 French Grand Prix, many circuits have been and gone from the F1 calendar, including the sport’s eighteen-year tenure in Malaysia. The Catalunya circuit in Spain was still a year away from being built. Meanwhile, the man-made Yas Island which now hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was seventeen years away from breaking ground.

Five of the Formula One teams which are on the grid in 2018 didn’t exist at the time of the 1990 French Grand Prix. Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are the only teams who were present at the Paul Ricard track in 1990, while Renault was supplying engines for Williams but was not a works team, and Mercedes had not yet returned to Formula One since the 1955 Le Mans disaster. It would be a further four years before they returned as engine suppliers.

The Red Bull company was just three years old and fifteen years away from entering the sport, and their now sister team Toro Rosso were racing as Minardi, which had first entered F1 five years previously.

While Michael Schumacher won a race for Team Sauber Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship in 1990, Peter Sauber’s team wouldn’t make the leap to Formula One for another three years yet. Jordan, the team who exist as Force India now, would make their F1 début seven months after the 1990 French Grand Prix at the 1991 United States Grand Prix. Gene Haas’ racing team wouldn’t enter NASCAR for twelve years yet, and wouldn’t enter Formula One for a further fourteen years.

The last time Formula One visited the Paul Ricard circuit, ten of the twenty drivers on the 2018 grid had not yet been born. The oldest of the drivers at the time of the last F1 race at Paul Ricard was Kimi Raikkonen, who was ten years of age. Fernando Alonso was nine, while Lewis Hamilton was five years old. Sebastian Vettel had just celebrated his third birthday, Nico Hulkenberg was about to celebrate his third birthday and Daniel Ricciardo turned one year old just a week before the 1990 French Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was ten months old, Brendon Hartley was about to be eight months old and Sergio Perez was little over five months old.

Meanwhile, Marcus Ericsson’s mother was heavily pregnant, with him being born exactly eight weeks after the race at Paul Ricard. It would be two years before Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne would be born, over four years until Carlos Sainz would be born, over five years until Sergey Sirotkin would be born, over six years until Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly would be born, over seven years until Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc would be born and over eight years until Lance Stroll would be born.

Turns out a lot can happen in 10,213 days. What were you doing in 1990 at the time of F1’s last visit to the Paul Ricard circuit? Let us know on Twitter – @BadgerGP!

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Nicky Haldenby https://badgergp.com <![CDATA[The Triple Clown Club]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=975301 2018-06-16T09:59:59Z 2018-06-16T05:26:34Z The Triple Crown. Achieved only once in the history of motorsport. The accolade where a driver wins the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But here at Badger GP, we’re interested in another achievement – the Triple Clown.

To be eligible to join the Triple Clown Club, a driver must have retired from the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Nicky Haldenby takes a look at which highly skilled drivers have achieved this feat, and who could be joining the list in 2018.

Alberto Ascari

The two-time Formula One world champion Alberto Ascari competed in the Indy 500 only once, in 1952. Driving for Ferrari, he was the only non-American to compete that year. He retired just a fifth of the way through the race due to a broken wheel.

In both of his F1 championship winning years, 1952 and 1953, Ascari entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Ferrari. In both years his co-driver was F1 team-mate Luigi Villoresi. In 1952, they retired after three hours with clutch issues and in 1953, despite setting the fastest lap of the race, the pair were forced out again with clutch problems, this time just four hours from the end of the race.

Ascari became the first member of the Triple Clown Club in what would be his final race, and in quite dramatic circumstances. The Italian only competed in Monaco twice. In 1950, he finished as runner-up to Juan Manuel Fangio. In 1955, Ascari ended his race in the harbour, as his Ferrari catapulted over the wall and into the sea.

Despite surviving, Ascari would be tragically killed just four days later during a testing session with Ferrari at the Monza circuit.

Guiseppe Farina

The man who was the very first Formula One World Champion is also, arguably, the second member of the Triple Clown Club.

His first retirement from the 24 Hours of Le Mans came all the way back in 1953, while he retired from the Monaco Grand Prix on its first appearance on the F1 calendar in 1950.

Image: f1-photo.com

Six years later, the Italian headed to the Indy 500 but failed to qualify due to the weather conditions. He never returned to the oval for a second attempt.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark ticked off the first of the three parts of the ‘Triple Clown’ by retiring from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1961. This was the third and final time Clark competed at the 24-hour race, having participated in the preceding two years. He finished second in class in 1959 before finishing in an overall third position in 1960.

Image: f1-photo.com

His first retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix came in 1962. Clark never had much luck at the street circuit. Despite starting from pole four times, he never won the race and retired three times. In 1965, the Scotsman actually skipped the Monaco round of the championship to compete in the Indy 500, which he won.

Clark completed the Triple Clown accolade by retiring from the Indy 500 in 1964. Leading for fourteen laps, he retired on the 47th lap of the race with suspension issues. He’d retire from the race once again, on his final attempt in 1967.

Jack Brabham

Jack Brabham completed the first part of the Triple Clown by retiring from Le Mans in 1958. He’d finished third in class in the previous year but retired in 1958 with engine troubles after just three hours of racing. Stirling Moss was his co-driver that year. Brabham returned to Le Mans for another try twelve years later, but once again retired, this time after seven hours.

The Australian was disqualified from the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960, before retiring from it in 1961 and then retiring from the race every year between 1964 and 1969.

Image: f1-photo.com

Brabham took part in the Indy 500 on four occasions, and only finished once – on his first attempt in 1961, where he finished ninth. In his next three attempts – 1964, 1969 and 1970 – he retired from the event, solidifying his place in the Triple Clown Club.

He and Jim Clark became members of the club on the same day, with Brabham joining thirty laps after Clark.

Jochen Rindt

The 1970 Formula One World Champion first set about competing in Le Mans in 1964. He was to drive a Ferrari for the North American Racing Team but didn’t get the chance to get in the car during the race, as co-driver David Piper failed to complete a single lap, with the Ferrari dripping oil almost immediately from the start. Rindt returned to Le Mans the following year with the same team and triumphantly won the 24-hour race.

Rindt on his way to Le Mans victory | Image: f1-photo.com

The Austrian won in Monaco twice, but failed to qualify for the race in 1965 and retired three times in three years between 1966 and 1968, ensuring he’d ticked off two of the three elements of the Triple Clown accolade.

The Austrian competed in the Indy 500 twice, in 1967 and 1968. He had a trying time during his first appearance and wasn’t compelled to return after retiring on the 108th lap with a broken valve and joining the Triple Clown club.

Nevertheless, Rindt would return the following year, but there was only more disappointment as he retired once again, this time after just five laps of the oval.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill is the only man to have taken the Triple Crown in the history of motorsport. He won Monaco an impressive five times, earning him the nickname ‘Mr Monaco’. Then, in 1966, he won the Indy 500 despite leading just ten of the 200 laps. He finally completed the hat-trick and took victory at Le Mans in 1972.

Image: f1-photo.com

Yet Hill also achieved the ‘Triple Clown’ accolade. He retired from the Monaco Grand Prix five times and failed to qualify for the event in 1975. In all five of his first attempts at Le Mans, in which he competed with four different teams, Hill retired. He finally made it to the podium in 1964, finished second in his class in 1965 and then retired once again in 1966. Hill’s co-driver in his winning year was Henri Pescarolo, who competed in Le Mans a near-unbelievable 33 times, winning the event four times.

From three appearances at the Indy 500, Hill retired twice. His first retirement was due to a piston issue after 23 laps in 1967. He joined the Triple Clown Club just eighteen laps after Jochen Rindt.

Denny Hulme

Denny Hulme first retired from the Monaco Grand Prix in 1966. He was forced out of the race with transmission issues after fifteen laps. He’d only retire from Monaco once more in his career, during his final season in 1974.

Image: f1-photo.com

Hulme had a successful time at Le Mans, finishing first in class on his first attempt in 1961 and second overall in 1966. In 1967, on his third and final appearance at Le Mans, Hulme’s car was retired from the race due to an accident by co-driver Lloyd Ruby, which caused terminal damage.

The New Zealander finished fourth in his first two appearances at the Indy 500 in 1967 and 1968 but recorded his first DNF, and with it joined the Triple Clown Club, in 1969. He was forced to retire after 145 laps with clutch issues. He’d return once more to the oval in 1971, but would again retire from the race.

Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti is one of the most successful American racing drivers of all time, yet even he is a member of the Triple Clown Club. Unusually, Andretti ticked off the first two elements of the Triple Clown in the same year.

Andretti competed in the Indy 500 29 times between 1965 and 1994, so it’s no surprise that he had a fair few retirements from the oval race during that time. He retired on nineteen occasions, the first being in 1966. After starting on pole and leading sixteen laps, he was forced into retirement on Lap 27.

His first retirement from the 24 Hours of Le Mans also came in 1966, just three weeks after his first retirement from the Indy 500. Competing in a Ford GT40 alongside Lucien Bianchi, the pair retired after a third of the race with a blown head gasket. Andretti was running in seventh place at the time of the retirement. The pair returned the next year, but once again failed to finish the race, with Andretti suffering a huge accident which left him with three broken ribs. Andretti would return to the race another six times in his career, with his third and final DNF coming an impressive thirty years after his first.

Andretti appear at Le Mans with his sons Micheal and John in 1988 | Image: f1-photo.com

Andretti completed the final component of the Triple Clown accolade by retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix in 1975. He’d go on to have a further two retirements at the Circuit de Monaco, in 1979 and 1981.

Clay Regazzoni

Clay Regazzoni only entered Le Mans one, in 1970. He drove for Ferrari alongside co-driver Arturo Merzario. The Swiss driver crashed into an unsighted car after 38 laps, leading to his retirement from the race.

Regazzoni retired from the Monaco Grand Prix four times during his Formula One career, recording his first DNF in the Principality in 1971.

Image: f1-photo.com

He also participated in Indy 500 only once, in 1977. He wrecked his car during a crash on the Saturday before the race but was uninjured. He went on to qualify in 29th and retired on Lap 25 with a fuel cell issue, sealing his place in the Triple Clown Club.

Teo Fabi

Teo Fabi’s retirement from the first of the three cornerstone events came in 1980 when the Lancia car he was driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans retired just six laps into the race. He made five more appearances at the event over the next eleven years, recording two further retirements, and the best finish of overall runner-up on his final appearance in 1993.

The Italian failed to pre-qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix on his first attempt in 1982 and suffered two retirements in 1985 and 1986. He skipped the Monaco race to compete in the Indy 500 for the second time in 1984. This was the last time that an active Formula One competed in the oval race until Fernando Alonso in 2017.

Fabi retired from the 500 in all five of his first attempts, before recording top ten finishes in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

Robert Moreno

Robert Moreno competed at Le Mans only once, in 1984. Driving a Porsche alongside former British F1 drivers Guy Edwards and Rupert Keegan, the car completed 72 laps before a crash brought an end to its running.

The Brazilian competed in the Indy 500 four times over a lengthy 21 year period. On all four occasions, he failed to see the chequered flag at the race. His first retirement came in 1986 when he stalled his car at the final turn on the 159th lap.

Moreno’s first retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix followed three years later, in 1989. A DNF due to gearbox issues saw him join the Triple Clown Club. He’d retire two more times from the street race, in 1992 and 1993. The 1992 Monaco Grand Prix was the only race which he successfully qualified his Andrea Moda car during the whole season.

Derek Daly

Derek Daly opened his bid to join the Triple Clown Club with a retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix in 1980. He’d previously failed to pre-qualify for the event in 1978 and failed to qualify in 1979.

His first Indy 500 retirement came on his first appearance at the oval, in 1983. The only Irishman in the field retired after 126 laps with an engine failure. It was at Le Mans in 1989 where Daly would join the Triple Clown Club. Having finished fourth overall at the 24-hour race in the previous year Daly returned with hopes to go one better and make it to the podium. His car retired after 85 laps of the race. A similar fate awaited in 1990, as Daly retired from the event just over a hundred laps short of the finish.

Eddie Cheever

During his tenure in Formula One, Eddie Cheever suffered five retirements from the Monaco Grand Prix and failed to qualify for the race twice. His first non-qualifying result in Monaco was in 1980. He then recorded his first retirement at the track two years later, when an oil leak put him out of the race on the 27th lap.

Image: f1-photo.com

Cheever finished second in class in Le Mans in 1981, but in 1986 he recorded his only non-finish from his three appearances at the event. Driving a Jaguar alongside Derek Warwick and Jean-Louis Schlesser, the team was forced to retire from the race after 239 laps as a result of a puncture.

The American made fourteen Indy 500 appearances between 1990 and 2006, winning the event in 1998. Cheever became a member of the Triple Clown Club in 1991 when he retired from the 200 lap race with electrical issues. He went on to retire from the event four more times – in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001.

Michele Alboreto

Michele Alboreto began his journey to the Triple Clown Club with a retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix in his first year in Formula One in 1981. He’d go on to retire from the race another four times in his career, as well as recording three podium finishes in 1985, 1987 and 1988.

Image: f1-photo.com

Driving alongside Rolf Stommelen and fellow-future Triple Clown Club member Teo Fabi, Alboreto first retired from Le Mans in 1982. He’d record another three retirements during his appearances at the race, while he also won the race in 1997.

A year before his Le Mans victory, Alboreto competed at the Indy 500. On the only appearance at the oval during his career, he retired from the race. He retired 43 laps in with gearbox troubles.

Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet opened his bid to join the Triple Clown Club with a retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix in 1979, during his first full season in Formula One. He retired just eight laps from the end of the race with a transmission issue. He’d retire from Monaco another seven times during his career, as well as being disqualified from the event in 1990.

Immediately after his F1 career, the Brazilian moved to participate in the Indy 500 in two consecutive years in 1992 and 1993. Piquet failed to make the start of the race in 1992 following a crash on the penultimate day of practice, which saw him sustain extensive leg injuries. He returned the following year but had to retire from the event after 38 laps with a blown engine.

Finally, Piquet entered into the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1996 and 1997. He finished eighth overall in 1996, but it was in 1997 when he joined the Triple Clown Club, with his car retiring after 236 laps.

Sebastien Bourdais

Image: f1-photo.com

Sebastien Bourdais’ first appearance at the trio of historic races was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999. In an all-French team alongside Pierre de Thoisy and former Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Jarier, the Porsche car from the GTS class retired after 134 laps. Bourdais has since made ten more appearances at Le Mans, finishing as the overall runner-up on three occasions and, most recently, finishing first in the GTE Pro class in 2016.

The Frenchman’s first appearance at the Indy 500 also ended in retirement. He crashed out just two laps from the end of the race as the result of a battle for fifth place. Bourdais returned to the oval seven years later and has competed every year since 2012. He withdrew from the event in 2017 following a huge crash which left him out of action for most of the year.

Bourdais had a single retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix during his F1 career, again on his first appearance at the event. In 2008, his Toro Rosso car aquaplaned off the track and slithered into the back of David Coulthard’s Red Bull, which had suffered the same fate. With that unfortunate accident, he secured entry into the Triple Clown Club.

Justin Wilson

Image: f1-photo.com

Justin Wilson retired from Monaco when driving for Minardi in his only season in the sport, in 2003. His only entry into Le Mans was in the following year. Driving for the ‘Racing For Holland’ team alongside Tom Coronel and Ralph Firman, the car retired after 313 of the 379 laps.

His first of two retirements from the Indy 500 came in 2008, with a crash on the 133rd lap. The 2008 Indy 500 and the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix were held on the same day, so Wilson joined the Triple Clown Club just a few hours after Bourdais. Wilson would retire once more from the 500-mile race in 2009, then went on to finish the race in every year until his untimely death in 2015.

Nigel Mansell

Our Nige was a dab hand at retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix, recording seven DNFs there in his F1 career. His first came in 1981. After winning the F1 title in 1992, Mansell moved to CART series and competed in the Indy 500 for the first time in 1993, finishing third. It was in the following year where he got two-thirds of the way into the Triple Clown Club, following a rather odd looking accident with Dennis Vitolo 92 laps into the race.

It would be a further sixteen years before Mansell would become a fully fledged member of the club, as he retired from his only Le Mans appearance in 2010. Entering his own team with his two sons Greg and Leo, Nigel was at the wheel just four laps into the race when a puncture caused him to crash out and finally seal his place in the Triple Clown Club.

Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi’s F1 career may have ended seventeen years ago, but he’s one of the latest drivers to join the Triple Clown Club. Le Mans was the first of the three events which the Frenchman retired from. Driving a Porsche for Team Schuppan, the car retired 69 laps into the 1989 running of the 24-hour race. Alesi returned to Le Mans in 2010, driving alongside Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander, taking sixth place in his class.

In 1992, Alesi completed the second of the two requirements to be a Triple Clown by retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix – a race which he’d go on to retire from another five times during his career.

It was another twenty years before Alesi finally became a member of the Triple Clown Club when he made a somewhat catastrophic entry into the Indy 500 in 2012. He entered as part of the Indy Lights team Fan Force United’s one-off appearance at the legendary race, powered by a Lotus engine. The only issue was that the engine simply wasn’t good enough for the demands of the oval track. Alesi struggled to get up to speed and failed to pass the Rookie Orientation Program on his first attempt.

Come race day, he and team-mate Simona de Silvestro were black-flagged from the race after just nine laps for lapping too slowly. Alesi was in further trouble as he took more than two laps to respond to the black flag signal. As a result, he was dropped to last place in the final classification. The race remains Alesi’s last competitive appearance.

Joining them this year?

Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya could join this list of drivers in 2018.

Fernando Alonso has retired from Monaco on four occasions, while he also retired from his only Indy 500 appearance so far. He suffered an engine failure on lap 179 last year. He enters Le Mans for the first time in 2018, where he’ll be hoping to repeat his success from the first round of the 2018 World Endurance Championship, rather than join the Triple Clown club.

Juan Pablo Montoya became the first driver to win the Indy 500 on his first attempt since Graham Hill in 1966, but another win and sixteen years later, he finally recorded a retirement at the race, crashing out after contact on only the second lap in 2016. He’s also retired from the Monaco Grand Prix twice in his career – in 2001 and 2002. The Columbian enters Le Mans for the first time this season. Montoya could become a member of the Triple Clown Club in the same year as his former Formula One rival.

The table below shows the full list of Triple Clown Club members, the year in which they recorded their first retirements from each race and the year in which they joined the Triple Clown Club:

  Indy 500 Le Mans Monaco Triple Clown Club
Alberto Ascari 1952 1952 1955 1955
Guiseppe Farina 1956 1936 1950 1956
Jim Clark 1964 1961 1962 1964
Jack Brabham 1964 1958 1961 1964
Jochen Rindt 1967 1964 1966 1967
Graham Hill 1967 1958 1958 1967
Denny Hulme 1969 1967 1966 1969
Mario Andretti 1966 1966 1975 1975
Clay Regazzoni 1977 1970 1971 1977
Teo Fabi 1983 1980 1982 1983
Robert Moreno 1986 1984 1989 1989
Derek Daly 1983 1989 1980 1989
Eddie Cheever 1991 1986 1982 1991
Michele Alboreto 1996 1982 1981 1996
Nelson Piquet 1993 1997 1979 1997
Sebastien Bourdais 2005 1999 2008 2008
Justin Wilson 2008 2004 2003 2008
Nigel Mansell 1994 2010 1981 2010
Jean Alesi 2012 1989 1992 2012
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